Rare Marine Turtle Almost Killed By People Taking Selfies in South Lebanon

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Selfie-Turtel-Lebanon via GreenArea

A sea turtle was reportedly pulled out of the water at a Rmeileh beach and people started taking selfies with it and stepping on it. To make things worse, the turtle was hit repeatedly on the head and a parent forced his kid to walk on the turtle. The giant sea turtle was later on rescued by the Civil Defense after being contacted from GreenArea. The organization also contacted the Ministry of Environment and Agriculture as well as Animals Lebanon.

This is a clear violation of Agriculture Law 1/125 that prohibits the poaching of marine animals. Unfortunately, this is not the first time sea turtles are killed in Lebanon.

I will never understand why people willingly harm such beautiful creatures. What’s the point in hitting a sea turtle on the head and leaving it to die? Where’s the fun in that? Seriously? Would you like someone to hit you on the head repeatedly and take selfies?

turtle sea

Nadine from Newsroomnomad first reported the story and posted a lengthy article on this matter. I recommend you read it [here].

Like Father, Like Son

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ach2

A week after clinching The 2016 Young Investigator Award, my brother collected two new awards this week: The Humanitas award for being a good human and another award for being an awesome clinician.

He dedicated the Humanitas award to our beloved father, here’s what he had to say:

It was a great honor today to be selected by the MD Anderson Cancer Center Fellowship Program to receive the Humanitas award…thank you to my cofellows (notably John French for the nomination), faculty and mentors for this selection…this award is based on Cicero’s Humanitas definition as a good human being…I dedicate this award to my father Ibrahim Mitri (Bob) who unexpectedly left us way too soon a few weeks ago…if there ever was anyone who loved and cared about people…anyone whom everyone loved…a truly good human being, that was you Dad…thank you for continuing to lead by example..this one’s for you..

Three awards in less than a month and he’s only getting started. Congrats bro!

achiv1

Casa Brutale: Stunning Faqra House Built Inside A Cliff

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opa

Netherlands-based architects Open Platform for Architecture (OPA) are building a cliff residence in Faqra for Demco Properties’s CEO Alex Demirdjian. The 2,906 square feet residence should be completed by 2018. Looking at OPA’s website, the project was originally planned to be completed above the Aegean Sea but it looks like they had a change of plans and will build it in Faqra instead.

The residence was described by [Archdaily] as the ideal pad for Bond villains. Let’s hope they finish it in time for the 25th Bond film.

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Located on Faqra Mountain outside Beirut at an altitude of 1,969 feet, the concept of Casa Brutale has progressed in many ways. What began as a 1,938 square-foot residence has now expanded to 2,906 square feet and comfortably accommodating up to six people. With an estimated budget of $2.5 million, the house now has an underground parking for up to three cars, and a northwest orientation that prevents it from turning into a greenhouse.

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Via Joesbox

Beirut Electricity App Featured In #Apple’s WWDC16

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elec

Beirut Electricity, an app that calculates the power outage hours in Beirut was featured in Apple’s New Beginnings video ahead of the WWDC16. This app basically “tracks the rolling three-hour outages and predicts when the power is on days, weeks, months and even years in advance”. The app also works on the Apple Watch.

elec1

Of course it’s pretty cool to be featured in Apple’s promo but I wish it could have been for something more useful than tracking down electricity outages, but that’s the sad reality we are living in. We have so many talents and so much potential here but there’s no infrastructure (internet, electricity, tech hubs) to support them.

Start watching at Minute 0:38

[YouTube]

5 Cool Things From Apple’s WWDC16

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WWDC16

Apple announced a series of new features and updates across its 4 platforms: MacOS, iOS, WatchOS and TVOS. Here are the 5 things that I liked best:

1- Swift Playground
Apple introduced Swift Playground, a free iPad app that teaches kids how to code. It is fun and intuitive using game like lessons to make learning code seem easy.

WW Swift

2- Calls, Messages and Emojis
You can now receive voice and video calls from third party apps (i.e Whatsapp) to the home screen just like traditional calls. iMessage got a major makeover with integration support for third party apps, services and lots of interactive features as well as fun and predictive emojis.

3- Apple Watch SOS Button and Medical ID Bracelet
You can now long press the side button of your watch to initiate an SOS call anywhere in the world, without even knowing the local emergency number. The watch will also turn into a medial ID bracelet showing all your emergency medical details.

4- Home App
Home allows you to control all your smart devices in your house via HomeKit. It will let you control the lights, thermostats, open doors, view cams and set scenes, all from one native app.

5- iCloud Drive
A more efficient and productive way to use desktop storage and iCloud. Your desktop files are now backed up and stored in the cloud while being fully accessible across all desktop and mobile devices.

Overall Apple is moving towards a more open system, it is giving the developer community more access and tools to push the limits without compromising on the aesthetics, functionality and more important the privacy of the user. The iOS 10 Developer Preview is already out now, with a public beta available in the summer and the final version coming this September with the new iPhone launch.

Verdun Bombing Update: Canadian Embassy Denies Sending Any Security Instruction

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bomb1

Few minutes after the unfortunate Verdun bombing occurred yesterday night, everyone started sharing a security instruction supposedly sent by the Canadian Embassy and the UN to their staff “warning them to stay away from all Beirut restaurants, avoid going to Beirut and in particular avoid visiting Hamra areas”.

I asked some Lebanese-Canadian friends I know and none of them got the message. I also checked their website and didn’t find anything. It turned out to be a fake one as clarified by the Canadian Embassy in Lebanon below. I am not sure about the UN though.

What’s funny is that a lot of Lebanese were outraged by the fact that foreign services or embassies would know more than us about potential terror threats in Lebanon. In all cases, I think someone needs to investigate where that rumor came from because all the local media shared it without even checking. Till then, I recommend you check the official websites of every embassy for travel advice:

The UK has a very accurate and up-to-date travel advice section [Gov.uk], the US Embassy as well [usembassy.gov] and the Canadian Embassy of course [travel.gc.ca].

Canada warning

Breakfast at Furn el Sabaya: Home-Made, Delicious & Clean

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furnsabaya1

I’ve been meaning to visit this small bakery for quite some time but I never got the chance to do so. However on Sunday, Brian woke up early and everyone was still asleep, so I took him for a ride all the way to Amchit and decided to drop by Furn el Sabaya to pick up breakfast.

20160612_081737 Brian waiting for his man2oushe

Furn el Sabaya (The Ladies’ Oven) opens every day from 7:30 AM till 2 PM and is run by a group of women who live right next to the shop. They’ve been managing this bakery for the past 20 years and take pride in preparing everything at home. They make their own Keshek, their own Zaatar (thyme), prepare their own bread (whole-wheat dough), harvest their own pumpkins etc. Also, the place is very clean and the “Sabaya” are very welcoming and friendly.

sabaya2

Their menu is divided into two sections:
Commonly sold items: (Manakish Zaatar, Jebneh, Lahm Baajin, Keshek, Awarma, Bayd bi Awarma etc ..)
Vegan/Healthy section: The ladies are all vegetarian and they offer cold-pressed thyme mankouche done with no oil, Vegan pizza with broccoli, sweet corn, bell pepper and tofu, Vegan pumpkin, pies made with spinach, purslane and wild greens etc. PatyM covered this vegan section quite extensively, you can read more about it [here].

furnsabaya3

I wasn’t really interested in that vegan section, so I ordered a couple of Zaatar, Jebneh & Keshek Manakish, two Bayd bi Awarma (preserved meat) pies and their famous sweet pastry, the “Mwar2a”.

They started by preparing the Bayd (Eggs) bi Awarma (preserved meat) Manakish. They basically crack an egg over the dough, mix it with herbs and then add Awarma (preserved meat) on top.

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And here’s the end result:

awarma final

As for the Mwar2a (or Mouwaraqa), it is the Sabaya’s signature dessert and consists of a thin dough filled with a mix of almonds, walnuts and orange blossom. It’s not that easy to prepare and they have a special way to roll the dough before putting it in the oven but the end result is one awesome dessert!

mwar2a

I found a video uploaded by my friend Bethany Kehdy on how the Mwar2a is prepared. Check it out:

[YouTube]

All in all, I love everything about Furn el Sabaya and I am glad we still have such places in Lebanon. Next time you are headed North, pass by these ladies for a unique experience and a great breakfast! I’m already planning my second visit to try their vegan section, especially the spinach and the pumpkin pies because they come highly recommended.

furnsabaya3

Rating: 4.5/5

Eight Lebanese Competing At The Rio 2016 Summer Olympics

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Richard merjan Richard Mourjan – The First Lebanese Canoeist to take part in the Olympic Games

Rio is the proud host of the 2016 Summer Olympics and Lebanon is represented by 8 athletes this year covering seven different sports:

Mariana Sahakyan (female) – Table tennis
Ray Bassil (female) – Shooting
Chirine Njeim (female) – Marathon
Elias Nacif (male) – Judo
Anthony Barbar (male) – Swimming
Gabrielle Doueihy (female) – Swimming
Mona Shaito (female) – Fencing
Richard Mourjan (male) – Canoe

Lebanon has only missed 1 Summer Olympic Games back in 1956 (it was a boycott) but has yet to earn a medal since the 1980 Summer Olympics held in Moscow. We have exceptional athletes competing this year so let’s hope they end the dry spell and bring back at least one medal!


Chirine Njeim is the first lady to represent Lebanon in the Marathon distance

I will keep you posted with further updates as soon as the games start. I tried looking for schedules on the Rio 2016 website but couldn’t find anything. I couldn’t even find our athletes’ names there.

Save The Ba2douniss

Posted By :

souvenir

This is a hilarious animation video but the message it is trying to pass is not funny at all. In fact, it reflects perfectly the sad truth we are living in: that climate change is happening and that we need to act before it’s too late.

Faraya

We don’t need to wait for the government to change our ways but we need to keep pressuring the authorities on such matters and raising our voices or even protesting when needed. Till then, we can start with the simplest things by turning off the lights and Air Conditioning when we are not in the house, investing in renewable energy (solar panels etc.), reducing waste and car pooling among others.

Check out the song, it’s amazing: